Whether you are an ultra high net worth individual or a working class individual, one thing I have found so common across the board is the desire to save money. If you are a home owner, here are ten ways for you to relook at your current spending to save on your homeowner's insurance!
1) Bundle, Bundle Bundle!
Many insurance agents have the ability to span different types of products, including car, life, content and home insurance. Generally speaking, we all have these policies and if you use the same company for as many of them as you can, special rates suddenly come! In Florida, it's very common to have your contents and home insurance in one. Extra bonus points if the same company will do your car insurance as well. However, at the very least, you could use the same agent for discounts.
2) Secret word: Discounts
While asking for a multiple policy discount, why not ask for more discounts? There are many scrupulous agents out there who will just automatically take care of you and give you the discounts, BUT, it never hurts to ask! You could even do this with your non-contracted bills (cell phone, internet, cable, etc). Some insurance companies offer seniors discounts, no claim discounts, marital status discounts, and nonsmoker discounts. Ask for a list of all discounts they provide and ask if they will match discounts that other insurance companies provide. If you have been with the company for a number of years, ask them for a loyalty discount.
3) Renewal Vs. New Customer
Unfortunately, some insurance companies end up taking their existing consumers for granted. Be sure that they aren’t offering new customers any discounts on their insurance premium that you’re missing out on. If you find that new customers are getting benefits that you aren’t, contact your insurer immediately and demand the same deal! If they don't want to give it to you, tell them you're leaving! They may change their tone shortly thereafter.
4) Get a Second Quote
Get a second quote from someone who wants your business. When getting it, make sure you haven’t over insured the contents inside of your home and make certain you keep an eye on the declining value of your assets. You could potentially reduce the value of your contents policy in line with the reduced value of your assets and save some money.
5) Increase Your Deductible
Perhaps the simplest way to lower your insurance costs is to lower your deductible. That means when you do make a claim, your costs will be higher, but for most people, a claim on a home and its contents is quite rare. Just to be safe, have a nest egg for that deductible anyway. Put it in an ally bank account and get the highest interest rate possible!
6) Don't Make Small Claims
Avoid claiming on small losses. For example, if your house is broken into and your old television that is worth $400 gets stolen, reconsider claiming on it. For starters, your deductible might be $300, then you have to consider the fact you lose any “no claim bonuses”. You could be affecting the cost of insurance premiums for the next four or five years by making a claim.
7) Review your "Extras."
Sometimes the add-ons with your insurance policy — like additional jewelry, insurance, or accidental damage coverage — are periodically in need of review. If you’ve decided to sell most of your jewelry or store it in a bank deposit vault, you could save some money on your insurance by skipping jewelry insurance. Is your home well maintained and unlikely to be damaged by accidents? You may not need an add-on like accidental insurance coverage. If you once had full accidental damage insurance that included pet damage, but your pet is no longer with us, make sure you remove it, because these small add-ons all contribute to the cost of the policy.
8) Install an Alarm System
Make sure your home is secure and if possible, install a security alarm. Your insurance company will give you a discount if you make them aware of the various security measures you have taken. Most companies will require the system to be monitored, so be sure to sign up for that service. Now, that being said, most new customers can get a FREE system from that monitoring service!
9) Upgrade Your Protections
If you demonstrate to your insurer that your home is fully prepared for natural disasters you can also save on insurance premiums. This means you may need to get another wind mitigation (for Florida), but even if you are charged, a proper shift will drastically decrease your rate!
10) Stay Home!
Finally, the last way to save on home insurance is by staying at home. If you leave your home empty for 4 or more weeks, some insurers will consider that an increased risk for burglary and charge you higher premiums as a result.
Recommended Insurance Agents:
Fernanda Iglesias, NCF Insurance Associates 305.446.5474 ext. 108
Matt Barton, We Insure 954.317.1388